Tyler Cowen writes that hotels have a fairly captive audience for consumer attention, and have found some success selling items in the room.
Westin Hotels not only offers to sell you the bed from your room, but their signature “Heavenly Dog Bed” as well. There’s even a bridal registry.
But the phenomenon of pricing items in a room also serves as a deterrent for guests to simply take the items. If the item is for sale, it isn’t meant to be free. And since hotels usually charge a premium over what a consumer might pay elsewhere, the threat of seeing the item added to a hotel bill at checkout is further deterrence against swiping a bathrobe or clock. Holiday Inn turned this on its head by offering towel amnesty last summer.